Today on the tray: Four prunes

four prunesOctober 17 is Four Prunes Day.

Why four? According to The Nibble, it’s because “four prunes are the minimum of what people who want more ‘digestive regularity’ should take per day (up to a maximum of 9 prunes a day).” Well, the label on the prunes I buy says that a serving is five prunes, so that is what I eat—but enough about me.

Below, see a wacky prune commercial from the 1960s featuring science fiction author Ray Bradbury.

Sunsweet prune commercial with Ray Bradbury (1960s)

By the year 2001, the ad forecasts, people will travel around in penumatic tubes. (Nope, never came to pass.) TVs will be large enough to take up a whole wall. (Yes, some people have pretty big TVs.) And prunes will be packaged in mini-packs. (Yes, Sunsweet does sell them individually wrapped.) Well, two predictions out of three is pretty good.

Bradbury, puzzled by his own presence in the commercial, says, “I never mentioned prunes in any of my stories…What are these people trying to pull?” He also observes that prunes are “badly wrinkled.”

“Sunsweet wrinkle technicians will one day conquer that too,” the voiceover boldly promises. This, my friends, is how the plum was invented.

But really, I’m glad they never found a cure for prune wrinkles. If they had, then calling someone “prune-face” would no longer be an insult, and I need it in my arsenal of insults to hurl at my aging friends.


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